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14 December 2020
Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Virtual Meeting

Public Meeting Notice: Agriculture Development Council Virtual Meeting

The Agricutlure Development Council will meet virtually via Zoom at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 17, 2020. 

For meeting information, please email agr@mt.gov or call (406) 444-3156. See Agenda attached.

Click here to learn more about the Montana Agriculture Development Council.

07 December 2020
Market Development Proposals Sought by Montana Pulse Crop Committee

Market Development Proposals Sought by Montana Pulse Crop Committee

The Montana Pulse Crop Committee is seeking proposals to fund market development projects and educational projects designed to promote and enhance Montana’s pulse industry. All funding awards will be determined by the Montana Pulse Crop Committee and proposals are due March 1, 2021 by 5:00 pm MST.

Click here to view the Request for Proposals. 

19 November 2020
Montana Oilseed Growers Will Vote to Establish Checkoff for Industry  Research and Market Development

Montana Oilseed Growers Will Vote to Establish Checkoff for Industry Research and Market Development

Montana oilseed growers will soon receive a ballot in the mail proposing a 1% checkoff for canola, flaxseed, mustard, safflower, soybeans, and sunflower crops. If passed, the Montana Oilseed Advisory Committee will advise the Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) on how to invest the funds for research, market development, and education.

“The continued growth of oilseed production in Montana is a testament to the industry’s immense potential,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “We have seen how investments made through other checkoff programs, like pulse and wheat and barley, have successfully given Montana growers a competitive edge. I’m glad to see our oilseed producers are eager to advance their industry through research, market development, and education as well.”

Ballots were sent to growers this week and are due back to MDA by December 31, 2020. Any current producer of canola, flaxseed, mustard, soybeans, safflower, or sunflower, that did not receive a ballot can contact MDA to request one by phone at (406) 444-2402 or by email at agr@mt.gov.

12 November 2020
Montana Department of Revenue Has Begun Process to Make Licenses Available for Recreational Marijuana Cultivation and Sale

Montana Department of Revenue Has Begun Process to Make Licenses Available for Recreational Marijuana Cultivation and Sale

The Montana Department of Revenue has begun the process to make licenses available for recreational marijuana cultivation and sale by October 1, 2021, following the recent voter approval of Initiative 190. 

Under the new law, the department will license and regulate the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products, will inspect premises where marijuana is cultivated or sold, and will collect the 20 percent tax on the retail sales of the products. 

Only currently licensed providers in the Montana Medical Marijuana Program may apply for the new non-medical licenses for the first 12 months they are available. 

Anyone interested in receiving updates on the department’s activities related to I-190 can sign up with the department at MTRevenue.gov/Marijuana

29 October 2020
Montana Department of Agriculture Releases Hemp Marketplace

Montana Department of Agriculture Releases Hemp Marketplace

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced today that the Hemp Marketplace is now available to buyers and sellers of hemp and hemp derivatives. The online portal can be accessed by visiting the department’s website.

“With hemp being a relatively new crop grown in Montana, the department recognizes that these markets are still developing,” said MDA Director Ben Thomas. “The Hemp Marketplace was developed to help facilitate connections between buyers and sellers. I’m looking forward to seeing how the marketplace will continue to advance the industry.”

Click here to visit the Hemp Marketplace.

16 October 2020
Tourism Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

Tourism Grant Program Now Accepting Applications

The application cycle for Tourism Grants is now open. The 2021 application cycle will accept applications from eligible entities from October 15 - November 30, 2020.

The Tourism Grant Program funds projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of Montana’s tourism and recreation industry. A total of $750,000 is available for projects that develop and enhance tourism and recreation products that have the potential to increase non-resident visitation.

Click here to learn more or to apply for a grant.

25 September 2020
Montana Department of Agriculture’s  2021 Young Ag Couples Conference Postponed to 2022

Montana Department of Agriculture’s 2021 Young Ag Couples Conference Postponed to 2022

The Montana Department of Agriculture (MDA) has postponed the 2021 Young Ag Couples Conference due to health risks posed by the coronavirus public health crisis.

The 2022 conference will be held in mid-January in Helena. To qualify, couples should be actively engaged in agriculture or agribusiness. Participants are usually nominated by Montana agriculture organizations, but those interested in attending the conference in 2022, or learning more about the conference can view updates on the conference’s Facebook page or contact Dani Jones at (406) 444-2402 or by email at danielle.jones@mt.gov.

23 September 2020
Governor Bullock Announces $4.2 Million of Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Meat Processing Infrastructure Grants

Governor Bullock Announces $4.2 Million of Additional Coronavirus Relief Funds Awarded through Meat Processing Infrastructure Grants

Governor Steve Bullock today announced $4.2 million in additional funds have been awarded through the Montana Meat Processing Infrastructure Grant (MMPIG) program to aid small and medium-sized meat processors in responding to the COVID-19 crisis through the adaptation and advancement of meat processing infrastructure and capacity in Montana.

“The meat processing infrastructure grant program received an incredible amount of interest, which goes to show just how crucial these investments are for Montana,” Governor Bullock said. “Our hardworking producers need to have viable markets for selling their livestock. These grants allow meat processors to expand their capacity to meet increased demand for local meat and protect consumers from future supply chain disruptions.”

The grant program previously awarded $7.5 million to 62 different processors across the state in early August, making the total awards for meat processing nearly $12 million.

Click here to view the full MT Meat Processing Infrastructure Program award recipient list.

17 September 2020
Hay Hotline Online Portal Available for Producers Responding to Wildfire Damages

Hay Hotline Online Portal Available for Producers Responding to Wildfire Damages

The Montana Department of Agriculture would like to remind producers that the Hay Hotline, an online portal where they can donate, buy or sell hay, as well as pasture available or pasture wanted, is available. This online tool can be especially helpful for those responding to damages from recent wildfires.
The department maintains the Hay Hotline as a service to the agricultural industry, making it available with the expectation that all buyers and sellers will treat each other in an equitable and lawful manner. 

Click here to access the Hay Hotline. Please call (406) 444-2402 with any questions.

08 September 2020
USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

USDA Designates Powder River County as Primary Disaster Area Due to Recent Drought - Big Horn, Carter, Custer & Rosebud Counties Named Contiguous Disaster Areas

On September 4, 2020, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue named the following counties as Disaster Designation Areas in Montana:

  • Powder River (primary)
  • Big Horn, Carter, Custer, Rosebud (contiguous)

Affected producers should work with their local FSA offices to apply for emergency loans and other assistance programs. Click here to visit the Montana FSA website to learn more.

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